Posts tagged: Networking Plan

Job Search Mistake #1: Not Having a Systematic Approach to Conducting a Job Search

Metaphor for most job searches which are more dependent on luck than a systematic plan

Is your job search systematic or more dependent on luck?

Many candidates approach a job search “willy-nilly”. The approach goes something like this “I’ll tell my friends I’m looking for a job, I’ll call the 3 recruiters I know and tell them to start circulating my resumes, I’ll dust off my old resume and update it for my last job, I’ll sit down tonight and look a few job boards to see what jobs are being advertised.”

After 25 years of executive search, over 1000 search assignments, and beyond 100,000 candidate interviews, I can guarantee that “willy-nilly” approach to your job search is a recipe for disaster. Unless luck intervenes, you’ll probably fall victim to one of two unfortunate job search failure scenarios:

Job Search Failure Scenario #1: You’ll take 2X-3X longer to conduct a job search than is necessary. If the average time to conduct a job search for your level of position is 4 months – it will probably take 8-12 months. Imagine the savings if you could knock a few months off your job search.

Job Search Failure Scenario #2: You’ll take a job that is not a good fit out of desperation and lack of clear thinking and planning about what is the right role for you. This job search scenario will force you into what we term is the “Circle of Transition”. You can read more about the Circle of Transition in our blog post on this subject and download a visual representation of this depressing cycle many individuals fall into during their career and from which they cannot escape.

A systematic plan requires the ability to conduct effective job search preparation, develop a compelling resume through a personal success profile, prepare to win every phone interview and face-to-face interview, master networking, and create a powerful personal brand that makes you visible to recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers.

We’ve developed a FREE Job Search Planning Self-Assessment Tool to determine if your job search is systematic or if it’s “willy-nilly”. This tool can help you restart a stalled job search, get your job search off to a rapid start, and most importantly, help you to reduce by half the time it normally takes to complete an effective job hunt for an ideal opportunity.

This FREE Job Search Planning Assessment takes our 25 year mountain of research across every dimension of job hunting and walks you through the steps of our Career Success Methodology –  a deeply researched and validated systematic job search system.

The FREE Assessment will be made available within the next 24-48 hours only to those who are members of our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group. This is an exclusive offer to the 2,000 plus members of our Discussion Group. You can join the group by clicking here.

By the way – as an added bonus, we have also developed a FREE Assessment to determine if your LinkedIn Profile is effective in making you visible to recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers. This FREE LinkedIn Profile Assessment is also available through membership in our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group. You’ll see it immediately upon joining as one of the featured discussions.

Our Job Search Home Study Course takes the Career Success Methodology and presents it through a comprehensive workbook, templates, and audio programs. After completing the Job Search Home Study Course, you should be able to dramatically reduce the time it will take to find a great opportunity. If you’re not happy with the course, use our guarantee to return it at no obligation.


Mastering Your Job Search – Radio Show

We discussed how to master your job search in our weekly Internet Radio Talk Show on We’ve posted the audio file on our website in the FREE Audio Library at

If you can master your job search by becoming an expert at resume writing, interview preparation, job search personal branding, and job networking, you have the opportunity like thousands of other candidates to dramatically reduce the time it takes to find a new job.

Thousands of candidates who have employed the simple, but effective strategies of our Career Success Methodology, have reduced their job hunting time by 30%, 40%, and as much as 50%.

One of the first steps in mastering your job search is to uncover all the best practices known in the core areas of conducting a job search, such as developing a job search plan, preparing a resume, interview preparation, job networking, and job search personal branding.

If you would like to immediately reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your job search, get a copy of  our popular job search book. You can download it right now at

You’ll be working on mastering your job search within minutes.

There is no reason you need to conduct a prolonged job search – if you apply all the job search techniques we describe in our book, you’ll stun your peers by dramatically reducing the time it takes to land a great job.

The Barry and Brad Job Search Show

What Fish are In Your Networking Pond?

Image using the metaphor of fishing to convey what people (fish) should be in your network (pond)

Let’s continue along my last post about fishing and networking. As you’ll recall, we were extending the wonderful post about fishing as a metaphor for job search networking that Anna Farmery from Buzz Networker had brought to our attention a few days ago.

One of the points that Anna raised was what kind of network are you looking for – or to continue our fishing metaphor – what type of fish should be in your network?

I’ll be so bold as to suggest that most of the fish in a job seeker’s network STINK!

It’s not that most networking contacts are bad people – but rather the network that a typical job seeker has assembled to help generate job leads and referrals is nothing short of useless in most cases. Brad and I take you through this introspective look at your network in our networking chapter in our book “This is NOT the Position I Accepted.”

One of the services that IMPACT Hiring Solutions provides is Job Search Networking Strategy and Coaching. Every day, Brad and I are immersed in reviewing the networks and networking activities of job seekers within our job search network (those that have participated in our tele-seminars and webinars, those who have downloaded our FREE Internet Radio Shows on conducting a Job Hunt, and those who participate in our LinkedIn Discussion Group for conducting an effective Job Search.

Although I have not yet quantified the data (do you sense another survey/research project coming on?), I’d surmise that less than 5% of the networks most candidates are using – are useless and yield very little in terms of job leads and referrals.


It’s because you have the wrong fish in your network. As a candidate involved in a job hunt, you need four classes of fish to have an effective network that can generate an abundance of job leads and referrals.

The four classes of fish (network contacts) are:

  1. Hiring Managers who might potentially hire you for a position
  2. Contacts who would know the hiring manager (peers competing for a similar position and peers of the hiring manager)
  3. Recruiters who fill the positions you want
  4. Personal Service Providers (lawyers, benefit consultants, CPAs, construction company project managers, landscape service businesses, leasing agents, etc.) The key to having these folks in your network is the ones who are “trusted advisors to their clients” (more about becoming a trusted advisor in a future post).

If you can assemble a network of individuals balanced among the 4 classes of fish we’ve defined, you’ll begin within 3-6 months to generate more job leads and referrals than you can handle. It goes without saying that once you’ve pulled all your fish together, you’ve still got to do all the little things that comprise best practices in networking activities.

Pulling together the “right” job search network is only the first step in reducing the time it takes to conduct a job hunt in half. This is the core theme of our entire Job Search approach: The Career Success Methodology – Cutting your job hunting transition time in half!

Thousands of job seekers have shared their success stories with us that by following the Career Success Methodology they’ve reduced the time it takes to find a job by 50% or more compared to their peers conducting a similar job search.

Having the right contacts in your network who can deliver an abundance of job leads and referrals is only one important element of the disciplined job search approach found in the Career Success Methodology.


Is Fishing like Job Search Networking?

Is Your Job Search Networking similar to fishing in the shallow end or the deep end of the job market?

Anna Farmery of the Buzz Networker put up a blog post the other day titled “Why Networking is like Fishing” that should serve as an important reminder to those conducting a job search.

Networking for Candidates

The funny thing about this title is that it is the opposing strategy for job seekers of the technique we teach in our “You’re NOT the Person I Hired” workshop for hiring executives and managers. We teach that you must be able to “fish in deep waters” to attract the best talent. Posting onto the various job boards a job description that is masquerading as an ad is rarely an effective strategy for finding great talent.

If the best technique to be found by recruiters and hiring managers is networking and the best technique to find great talent is through networking – the intersection of these two overlapping strategies by candidates and recruiters/hiring managers should result in great matches.

Seems obvious – right?

Why doesn’t it work most of the time?

Job Search Networking – Fact or Fiction

It doesn’t work because most candidates do a terrible job of networking, personal branding, and positioning themselves to be found. Most recruiters/hiring managers do a terrible job networking by fishing in the deepest ends of the pool for great talent.

So what really happens in most hiring situations? The recruiters/hiring managers revert back to pre-historic approaches to finding candidates by running ads and candidates devote the vast majority of their job search to responding to job ads. Is there any wonder why top talent fails to find great opportunities and companies fail over and over to bring top talent to their doorstep?

Brad and I will be releasing over the next week or two a self-assessment for you to determine if you’re networking plan needs a major check-up. Stay tuned for this release. Our surveys and research within our job search network on LinkedIn (which you can join by clicking here) indicate that less than 20% of executive and managerial candidates have an effective networking plan.

Here are a few questions to be thinking about while you await the release of our networking plan self-assessment tool:

  1. Do you have a written networking plan?
  2. What do you believe are the top 5 best practices in a networking plan of action?
  3. Have you ever seen a formal networking plan with action steps, metrics, objectives, and tasks?
  4. If you develop plans for projects at work – why wouldn’t you do it for your job search?
  5. Can you list the top 20 articles/blog postings/content/books and other audio/video related content on job search networking that you’ve read within the last week and have taken 1-2 ideas from to incorporate into your job search.

Are these tough questions? Most candidates we’ve surveyed wouldn’t be able to answer them. If you can’t, your probably are facing a major need for a networking check-up OR the alternative is a prolonged period of unemployment that could have easily been cut in half.

Resources for Developing a Networking Plan

  1. In our Book, “This is NOT the Position I Accepted”, we dedicate an entire chapter to the concept of Job Search Networking.
  2. In our Job Search Home Study Kit, we have exercises, templates, and guidelines for developing a powerful networking plan that could help reduce the time it takes for you to find a job by at least 50%.
  3. Brad and I have talked about networking numerous times – both about job search networking on-line and off-line – in our weekly Internet Radio Talk Show on LATalkRadio. We’ve taken all our Radio Show Broadcasts and put them in an audio archive for you to listen to and download.
  4. If you’re in need of a “Networking Check-Up” for your job search, be sure to check out our Networking Strategic Plan Coaching to get an immediate boost over your competition.


Having A Job Search Plan

Having a written and comprehensive job search plan is one of the most critical components of a job search. In today’s market you will rarely get a position without one. Your plan must include both off-line and on-networks. This show discusses in great detail exactly why you need a plan, what a plan should be and how to leverage the plan. If you are new to the job search, understanding the importance leveraging the internet is the most important issue  to grasp. Is your Linkedin profile up to date, is your resume searchable on Google and how are you active in groups.
You need a job search plan and this show is the place to start.

Upcoming Radio Broadcast – What’s Your Job Search Plan

Do you have a powerful job search plan capable of reducing your job hunt timeframe by over 50%?

Most candidates do not have a solid job search plan to conduct an effective job search – then they whine about their job hunt and the fact that it’s taking them 40% longer to find a new job than their peers.

Can you afford to be out work 6 months, 12 months, 18 months?

An effective job search plan is one of the primary methods by which you can significantly reduce the time it takes to conduct a job hunt. Many candidates have used this approach, which is a core element of our Career Success Methodology, to reduce their job search time by 40%, 50%, and sometimes as much as 65% based on traditional projections of the length of job searches by level of position.

Join Brad and I on Monday at 11 AM PST on as we discuss, banter, and argue about what is a proper job search plan and how do you get started in creating one for yourself. Mark your calendar right now! We take your questions, comments, and ideas and put them on the air to discuss, debate, and challenge each other.

Be on the lookout for our upcoming FREE Self-Assessment 8-Point Success Matrix for a Job Search Plan, our audio program which you can download directly from Itunes or from our website in our extensive FREE Audio Library. Finally, we’ll have a video up shortly about the Top Ten Job Search Mistakes which you can download from Youtube.


Our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group

Are you a learner or a dunce when it comes to discovering how to improve your job search and reduce the time it takes to find a new opportunity. Do you explore every blog, tweet, and discussion group capable of offering new ideas and injecting renewed energy into your job search?

Learner or a Dunce in Your Job Search

Or do you feel you know everything there is about doing an effective job search. Is your attitude “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”. The funny thing is that in my 25 years of executive search, I’ve discovered more 55 year olds than have a passion for learning than 25 year olds. Learning, growing, expanding beyond your immediate knowledge or bubble is not age dependent. It’s a life long attitude about personal growth and learning (this could be a entire blog post just by itself).

Job Search Discussion Group

Brad and I facilitate a vibrant community on LinkedIn that is rapidly growing toward being one of the most active job search discussion groups on LinkedIn and the Internet.

Some of the topics of discussion include:

Job Search Networking

Marketing yourself

Job Search Personal Branding

Salary Negotiation

Thank You Letters and Follow-up with Hiring Managers

How to Prepare for an Interview

Acing the Phone Interview

Classic frustrations, errors, and mistakes most candidates make in their job search

How to get a recruiter to call you back

Join the Discussion Group

We also make special offers to this LinkedIn Group, including participation in job search teleconferences, special white papers, examples, and first look at new templates we develop, such as the 8-Point Success Matrix for Assessing the Effectiveness of Your LinkedIn Profile.

Join us today and jump right in by throwing out a question to the group, posting a comment on another discussion point, or adding a news link about a site, article, or blog posting you reviewed and thought would add value to the group.

Here’s the link to join our discussion Group on LinkedIn: IMPACT Hiring Solutions Job Search Discussion Group

There are number of really good discussion groups on LinkedIn regarding job search. You should be on all of them, including ours. If just one idea you can glean from the groups helps you take an entire month off your job search, the investment of time would have more than paid for itself.

Participating in on-line job search discussion groups gives you an opportunity to benchmark your own job search activities and success, bounce ideas off of other peers, learn about ideas that others have tried and you’ve never considered, and obtain leads and ideas of how to uncover those hidden jobs within companies for whom you would love to join.

Are you learner or a dunce when it comes to improving your job search?


Become a Beacon in Your Job Search

Picture of a lighthouse representing a metaphor for being a beacon in your job search to attract the attention of hiring managers

Adam Singer, writing today in his blog, The Future Buzz, used a lighthouse with it’s powerful lens as an excellent metaphor for networking on-line, particularly in using on social media, groups, discussion boards, and other communities to draw attention to yourself in your job search.

Adam uses this powerful metaphor and visualization to call attention to the importance of establishing your own personal brand in social networking, for both your success, career, and job search. He states:

A beacon is an intentionally conspicuous device designed to focus attention on a specific location.

Visualize what image the word beacon conjures in your mind:  perhaps a lighthouse casting light onto an otherwise dark horizon, or a signal fire atop a hill illuminating the night sky.  In the physical world, a beacon is used to draw attention, act as a guide, or call to action.  Civilizations have long used them to rally citizens together, protect ships from coastlines, and act as signal points.

But the concept of a beacon is not limited to purely physical signaling points.  There are beacons on the web – they are people, companies, networks, blogs, anything that can direct attention.

You must become a beacon or you are essentially at the whim of others who point attention at their own discretion, perhaps shining the light on you for fleeting moments…if you’re lucky.

You can read Adam’s full blog post at The Future Buzz.

Are you a beacon to others in your job search. Is the attention of hiring managers drawn to the light you cast?

If you missed our last post about using your LinkedIn Profile to become visible in your job search, you can still download the 8-Point Success Matrix for Your Job Search LinkedIn Profile. Within minutes, this matrix will help you to improve your existing LinkedIn Profile to become a bright beacon and attract the attention of recruiters, HR managers, and Hiring Managers in your job search.


Photo courtesy of Adam Singer at the Future Buzz

Put On Your Sales Hat in Your Job Search

Putting on Your Sales Hat in Your Job Search

I just conducted one of our regular weekly Internet Radio Talk Shows. You can download the new audio broadcast from our website in our FREE Audio Library.

In this program we discussed the following topics and took questions from our audience regarding their job search issues about “Putting On Their Sales Hat”:

Plan Their Work

  1. Networking Plan
  2. Target Plan
  3. Group Participation Plan
  4. Research – hot industry’s/goggling hiring managers

Numbers Count!

  1. Well-Prepared to being their sales efforts
  2. Documents lined up
  3. Details/Research/Comparative Information – armed with right info
  4. Rehearsed and polished

The Interview/Presentation

  1. Quick Rapport/First Impressions
  2. Solution Selling – what’s your pain (should know this in advance – top 4 typical problems/issues for that role
  3. Enthusiasm/Energy – show your passion

Follow-up after the interview

  1. Thank You Notes
  2. Sending relevant information
  3. Networking
  4. Finding backdoors

We’ve got a wealth of tools on our website to help you Put on Your Sales Hat. Check out our Candidate Product Library – where we’ve taken this concept and built a structured workbook, templates, and audio programs.

Take a look at our Job Search Service Catalog where we’ve developed a series of coaching and assessment tools to determine if you’re effectively applying the concepts and methodology behind “Putting On Your Sales Hat”.

Finally, join our LinkedIn Discussion Group which provides a vibrant forum for posing questions and getting answers from other candidates conducting a job search and how their applying each of the key steps of our Career Success Methodology.


photo credit JL McVay

Do you stand out in your job search on LinkedIn?

Stand Out From the Crowd and get noticed in your job search

I recently wrote a blog post for our Hiring and Retaining Top Talent Blog titled “A Baker’s Dozen of Techniques for quickly finding top talent on LinkedIn” When you review this list of the best practices of how employers and recruiters use LinkedIn to find top talent, are you guilty of not using all the tools LinkedIn provides for personal branding, networking, differentiating yourself from the competition?

Next Steps: Listen to our Home Study Job Search Course and work through the exercises to learn how to network on line and leverage LinkedIn, explore the FREE audio recordings of our Internet Radio Talk Show on using LinkedIn in your job search, or join our LinkedIn Discussion Group and focus on the topics related to using LinkedIn to “stand out”.

Tell us about a few of the stories of how you’ve landed a job or received a great job lead based on one of the Baker’s Dozen of Best Practices?


photo credit by Jill Murray